Rail foes' target is really the mayor
Who's kidding whom? City Councilman Charles Djou and his cohorts are planning the downfall of the mayor and a takeover of the transit project. Then they'll set up one of their own and take credit for it's success. The argument of rail noise versus rubber is just a shibai. The steel wheel/rail concept has been in use throughout the world for years. Honolulu is finally stepping out as a modern metropolis because our mayor had the courage to think big!
Pack up and move close to your destination
Instead of an expensive rail system that will serve such a small segment of the population, suppose the population was paid to moved to within walking distance or a bike ride away from work or school. The exercise would make us healthier. We'd have more time to spend with our loved ones or away from them at the local bar or wherever, as the case may be. Traffic congestion and aggravation would be avoided while we reduced our dependency on oil and helped clean our environment. There'd be no unsightly rail system! This is a win-win concept that's worth exploring. Sure, it'll take some money, but not $3.7 billion and the benefits are greater.
So mayor, make my day, pull the trigger ... er ... plug on your rail system. Don't take the city on a roller-coaster ride like the Las Vegas monorail, where ridership went up but revenues were insufficient so cash reserves made up the difference. Some fear bankruptcy lurks at the end of the line.
PR needed to counter misinformation on rail
Why is PR necessary by communities that receive federal funding for their transit systems? It's to counter the determined campaigns of John Brizdle (Letters, April 19)
and other transit opponents and their misinformation about rail.
Brizdle's letter asked several leading questions designed to make it appear rail is doomed to fail. Let Brizdle answer these questions:
» Is there a alternative to sitting in traffic during rush hour without rail? No.
» Isn't the bus system an alternative? No, because buses also are stuck in traffic.
» Why do we need rail? Because rail is that alternative.
» Will rail solve traffic congestion? No, because there always will be traffic.
» If rail won't solve traffic, why build it? To let commuters bypass traffic and arrive at their destinations on time.
It's a simple concept that rail's opponents either can't or won't understand.
PR practitioners get used to the vilification, but at times like this, we unapologetically stand up to Brizdle and his friends as they mislead the public about a project that is vital to Honolulu's future.
Public Relations Consultant
Come join the race against brain cancer
The Hawaii Bicycling League's John B. Kelley Haleiwa Metric Century Ride will take place Sunday. The race has been named in honor of John B. Kelley, who passed away in May 2006 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. John was an active cyclist and an ardent supporter of HBL, which promotes cycling for health, recreation and education. Brain cancer has been called an "orphaned" disease; it has a profound effect on family, friends and colleagues, yet rarely receives public attention.
As many healthy, physically fit individuals are being diagnosed with this disease, everyone is encouraged to contribute to these worthwhile organizations. Please cycle by at Haleiwa and make a donation.
Kathy Merrill Kelley
Charter schools deserve fair treatment
I am the principal of Connections Public Charter School. I attended the rally for our schools at the Capitol on April 15 and was there again on April 21. Public education in this country is based on principles surrounding equity, access and opportunity for all. Charter schools are public schools. Why are students at charter schools not worthy of the same support as students in traditional public schools? How do we explain this to families that have chosen to send their children to our schools?
Charter schools are providing an opportunity to bring high-quality education to many in our state who have not benefited from our public schools. Charter schools can provide opportunities for educators to implement innovative programs to improve student learning and achievement. With our smaller scale, direct parental involvement, autonomy and site-based decision making, charter schools in Hawaii are living proof that freedom and equitable choice for parents, innovative opportunities for educators and explicit accountability for student achievement make a difference in the education of our children.